Anime Review: Mushishi

In the world of Mushishi, there exists a form of life known as “mushi” – strange creatures that are more primitive than animal, plant or bacteria, yet are closer to the source of life than any of the former. It is not (generally) in their natures to cause harm, but their alien natures means that when human and mushi interact, neither comes off better. Enter the Mushishi (or Mushi-Master) Ginko who meditates human-mushi affairs, as he constantly traveling from village to village to study these mysterious beings and the effects they have on people, trying to help out where he can.

Mushishi is different from most anime series in a couple of ways. First of all, the entire series is episodic. There are neither story arcs nor any cliffhangers that tie the events of one episode to another, but at the same time, what saves it from being repetitive and boring, is that it doesn’t use the stereotypical fast-paced action, complex fantasy, hyperbolic comedy, and intense violence that we are used to see in anime series. Rather, its pacing is slow, focusing more on the actual scenes and situations, allowing the viewer to absorb the background of each individual episode and the guest characters in that episode. Thus, there is a great deal of dialogue exchange and information that we’re made to think about and dwell on, rather than actual action taking place. It’s unconventional but it works brilliantly at the same time. As far characters go, Ginko remains the only standout character that we can only feel attach to, but more importantly, it’s Ginko’s relationship with the Mushi that is quite amusing. The voice acting also wins major points. The Dub version is excellently preformed and it also survives from harsh edits. The soundtrack is good; it remains atmospheric throughout and reminisce the rural medieval Japan feel quite well. In the end, if you are looking for an original anime series that is absent from the usual components of conventional anime, then Mushishi is definitely for you. Highly recommended.

Rating

  • Story: 8/10
  • Characters: 7/10
  • Animation: 9/10
  • VA Performance: 9/10
  • Soundtrack: 7.5/10

Overall Score: 8.5/10

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13 responses to this post.

  1. […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt […]

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  2. I have it saw two episodes so far looks interesting like the idea was afraid to watch it because I hate bugs but it not about bugs thank god lol might finish it up after my one piece marathon on epsiode 99 now like 250 more to go + 7 movies and like 5 specials I think gonna be a long ass weekend…

    btw if you had a choice to go out with Tifa from FF7 or Yuna from FFX who would you choose?

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  3. I’m going to download it, thanks for the review. Right now I’m watching School Rumble which is hilarious!

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  4. I saw the first episode, It didn’t appeal that much to me actually. I wasn’t looking for something that deep.

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  5. @TAT

    LOL, fear of bugs huh? I think I’m getting to know you better by the second 😛

    Oh that’s easy…Tifa wins hands down 🙂

    @Marzouq

    Oh yes, I saw the trailer of School Rumble the other day and looked hilarious. I’m so gonna watch it next.

    @N.

    Yeah it’s pretty deep for an anime but it gets better after some episodes. Give it another try if you’ve run out of anime which is kinda impossibly LOL 🙂

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  6. first time i watched it, it’s kind a weird..
    but when i continued watching it i found some beautifull thing in this movie..the background, story tellings somehow it hipnotizing me..it’s rather different from other anime that i’d ever seen..
    but i agree with u it’s highly recommended for anyone who want find new style of anime..i guess..(sorry my bad english)

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  7. I absolutely love this series! Nice review. Animax is showcasing it… at 1:30am. But the slow pacing, the depth and richness of the stories (some of them can really leave you thinking), situations and feelings make it amazing for a relaxing sleep and peaceful dreams. And I think barely no anime ever put me close to ‘epic tears’ as this, especially on a couple of eps where the epilogue gets so calm, yet grandiloquent (chasing the rainbow!), ominous and thoughtful, accompanied by the soft music… Excellent!

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  8. Posted by andréia on September 19, 2009 at 10:46 am

    I love ginko

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  9. Posted by irosky on November 21, 2009 at 8:03 am

    no entiendo lo que dijieron pero me encanta mushishi es genial me encanta love me encanta mushishi

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  10. oh a mi tambien, me encanta mushishi, nada de peleas sin sentido ni de tipos golpeandose por estupideces, ni lanzandose mazas de energia,ni robots ni misiles ni cualkier otra estupides,les recomiendo salgan de la monotonia del anime, vean mushishi, es muy hermoso una serie para sentir no para ver xD

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  11. Posted by Laurna on May 19, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    The Mushi Shi is an extremly deep, philisophical and mind bending adveture. I was taken aback by the first episode, sent through time, the universe, reality, illusion.. It amazed me at how trippy, yet well thought out the first few episodes are. Mind you, you need to be at the “right frame of mind” to really enjoy the thoughtfullness of the dialoge. :> Absolutly amazing. I thourghly enjoyed it.

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  12. […] much is that the mushi exist at the place in between the worlds. All of the reviews (here’s one) I’ve read and the descriptions within the show itself describe the mushi as lifeforms that […]

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  13. Posted by Matthew Petch on February 17, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Mushishi is my favorite anime to date. It is slow paced,but it has to be slow paces. You need the time absorb each story,which is basically a life lesson/old wives tale. Each story captivates the audience and when combined with the scenery you are whisped away to another world. An almost trippy but very safe world. You will either love or hate this anime. It is a very nice change of pace to wild world of anime. This is a very simple show that evokes deep thought. It’s super easy to follow but it makes you examine you, the world, and life it self. A very life changing anime if I do say so myself. It’s only 24 episodes long, and is a must watch!

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